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AEW Dark recap (Nov. 9, 2021): Hayter’s gonna hate

Episode 116 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream. Let’s talk about what went down on YouTube. Your commentary team for this edition was Excalibur and Taz.

The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds & Colt Cabana) vs. The Gunn Club

The Gunn Club came in 10-0 in trios action. The Dark Order came out with Uno, Reynolds and Cabana with no specific record for this trio, and Taz immediately went on a tirade about how they always bring an army with them for matches like this. Most of the time Gunn Club matches are a squash so I was genuinely surprised to see them face strong competition. Uno gave Colton a neckbreaker as Taz ranted some more about Aubrey Edwards. “Are you trying to curry favor with the referee? You wear a mask because you’re ugly man!” Reynolds tagged in and Austin planted his face into the canvas. He hit a dropkick to the gut and kipped up. Billy tagged in and called for Colt to tag in too. He did. He told Colt to “suck it” and nearly got rolled up in return. The Dark Order threw everybody into Billy’s crotch and did a triple noggin knocker, so the Gunns went back outside to regroup. Edwards begged everyone to get back to one on one action. The Gunns all got low bridged to the outside and Uno tagged back in. Cabana did a dive to the floor to wipe Billy out. Flying Apple from Cabana onto both Gunns stacked up in the corner. Suicide dive from Reynolds to wipe Billy out again. Uno hit Something Evil on Austin for two. Uno kicked Austin in the face but Austin did a back roll and grabbed the ropes for the pin. A very strong opener for AEW Dark!

Heidi Howitzer vs. Riho

Riho came to the ring with a record of 8-2 in 2021. Her opponent Howitzer was making her AEW debut. After the long opener you almost had to expect a short squash match here. Howitzer caught Riho on a crossbody though and carried her around like a trophy, slamming her down for a near fall. That was as close as she got though because moments later Riho did her Coup de Gras to the ribs and got the pin.

Too Fast Too Fuego vs. Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo

Comoroto & Solo came in 2-0 in tag team action, representing QT Marshall and The Factory even though Marshall didn’t accompany them since he’s in singles action later. Too Fast Too Fuego came in with a record of 1-0. Commentary continues to speculate that Fuego Dos is Cody Rhodes. Taz even tries to claim his real name is “Dom” and that’s why he had a neck tattoo that read “D...m” and then says he had laser surgery to get it removed. Then he tried to claim Dos was Preston Vance because they both wear a mask and the same color socks. Excalibur shot this down because Vance has a tattoo on his chest. Taz: “I told you we have laser removal around here.” Comoroto went full hoss and took held Fuego Dos up in a delayed vertical suplex, showing off his grizzly bear physique in the process. Solo tagged in to pick the bones. He tried to rip the mask off and Aubrey Edwards admonished him for it. Solo mocked Fuego Uno by teasing a tornado DDT but Dos escaped and hit a reverse DDT tagging Uno in. By the way in case none of this was clear, Fuego Uno is Fuego Del Sol and Fuego Dos is Cody Rhodes. We don’t need to pretend. Comoroto ate an assisted DDT and Solo ate a tornado DDT as Fuego Del Sol picked up the pin to improve his team to 2-0.

Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager vs. Koko Lane & Luke Langley

Guevara and Hager came in 8-1 and 2-1 in singles action for 2021, and Guevara had the TNT title around his waist, both men sporting their Inner Circle leather jackets. Lane and Langley were waiting for them in the ring to make their AEW tag team debut, and just like Wednesday nights, you know what that means. Guevara flipped and flew, took a bow, and tagged Hager in to work on Langley some more. Lane grabbed Hager from outside to interfere and then exchanged quick tags as they tried to work Hager over. Needless to say they couldn’t keep control of him for long, Guevara tagged back in, and was a house of fire on both men. Lane ate a cutter, Hager tagged in for the Hager Bomb, Guevara tagged himself back in for a senton atomico and got the pin. Before they could even celebrate Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky ran in to attack Hager before the street fight at AEW Full Gear. Ortiz and Santana ran down to make the save.

Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, & Wheeler YUTA vs. Darian Bengston, Davey Vega & Camaro Jackson

The Best Friends trio here were 7-1 in the division. Their opponents were veterans of the Dark shows but had no record as a trio. Cassidy had his ribs taped up to sell the damage Miro did to him on Dynamite. Bengston appeared to be directing traffic for his team, but what else would you expect from a guy who dresses like Raven? Once he went down on the apron the Best Friends took over, and when he staggered to his feet Taylor gave him the Awful Waffle. Cassidy begged for the tag, considered doing a move, realized Bengston was already did and just laid on him for the pin. Vega tried to attack Cassidy post match and got the Orange Punch for his trouble. “Give the people what they want!” Yes Excalibur, they did the hug in St. Louis, just for the people.

Frankie Kazarian vs. Dante Martin (w/ Lio Rush)

Dante Martin brought a singles record of 19-7 to this match. “The Elite Hunter” Kazarian brought a record of 30-6. For the second time on this episode I was genuinely surprised at how evenly matched the two sides were. Martin and Kazarian did a simultaneous kip up to their feet to pop the crowd. Martin took Kazarian down with a springboard crossbody and did a series of arm drags, making Taz compare him to Ricky Steamboat. Kazarian countered Martin into one of his own and worked on the left arm and shoulder. Martin sold the pain but got back to his feet twice. Sunset flip for a near fall and a pair of dropkicks. Senton for a near fall on Kazarian. I remember a TNA match where Kazarian battled Chris Sabin for the rights to “The Future” as a nickname. These days Dante Martin looks like “The Future” of professional wrestling. Kazarian took Martin inside out with a clothesline and appeared to be ready for the cross face chicken wing. Martin escaped and went for a stunner, Kazarian got it back on, Lio Rush grabbed his leg to break the hold, and Martin did his double jump springboard moonsault to pick up the win! He went to shake Kazarian’s hand but Kazarian wanted no part of it, pointing a finger in his face and then pointing a finger at Lio Rush.

Thunder Rosa, Ryo Mizunami, & Kris Statlander vs. Emi Sakura, Jamie Hayter & Rebel (w/ Lulu Pencil)

Sakura had a record of 8-2 coming in. Hayter and Rebel got their own entrance after hers with records of 4-2 and 0-2 respectively. Rosa’s team were billed as “making their trios debut” for this match. Rosa and Hayter were theoretically going to start things off, but Hayter tagged out to Rebel, and Rosa hit her with a series of arm drags. Rebel grabbed a handful of hair and tagged in Sakura, and Mizunami tagged in for the rapid fire chops in the corner. Sakura planted Mizunami and started her “we will rock you” stomp, hitting a crossbody to the corner and doing a bow & arrow after. Hayter tagged in and gave Mizunami a suplex, then threw her into the turnbuckle to tag in Rebel. Rebel gave her a snapmare to the center and hit a cartwheel neckbreaker for two. Mizunami tried to fight her way to a tag but Sakura ran in to cut her off. Mizunami hit a spear and finally tagged Statlander, who took out every woman in site and stacked them up before tagging Rosa in. All three womentook turns attacking an opponent in a corner. The referee lost what little control he had over the match at this point. People did what they wanted to legal or otherwise. Rebel threw Statlander into a corner, ate a dropkick from Rosa from behind, then ate a Fire Thunder Driver for the pin. I’m just glad Hayter didn’t take the pin. In fact she ran back in to give Rosa a cheap shot, but Ruby Soho ran down with a pipe in her hand to make the save. Statlander thought Soho was going to hit her with it and Soho told her no, threw it down, and kicked it out of the ring to prove she had no ill intentions. Her TBS tournament opponent didn’t seem to be buying it though.

Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty (w/ Mike Sydal) vs. 2point0

To my surprise 2point0 wasn’t accompanied by Daniel Garcia tonight. Their record to this point in AEW was 7-2. Moriarty brought a singles record of 0-4, while Sydal brought a singles record of 12-8 (along with his brother Mike) and got the home town reaction you would expect since this episode was taped in St. Louis. For those keeping score we hit already hit the one hour mark by this point on a very packed episode of Dark heading into Full Gear this weekend. Parker and Lee cut off the ring with quick tags to work over Moriarty and mocked Sydal in the process. Moriarty tried to dive for the tag, both members of 2point0 hung on for dear life, but he was still able to get it anyway. Sydal hit a charging knee strike on Parker and did a Meteora, but Lee broke up the pin. 2point0 wanted Two for the Show but Moriarty broke it up and did a suicide dive. Jumping knee to Parker, roundhouse kick, lightning spiral and cover by Sydal for the home town winner pop! Dante Martin and Lio Rush came out to disrupt the celebration and tease a match for Dynamite.

Nyla Rose vs. Tootie Lynn

Rose brought a record of 22-5 to the ring. After her debut on Elevation last night Lynn sported a singles record of 0-1. Lynn tried to take Rose off her base with a series of leg kicks but got run over by a speeding Mack truck. Rose did a top rope guillotine as Lynn was prone on the ropes and easily picked up the pin afterward. Hopefully this isn’t the last of Lynn.

Andrade El Idolo (and his assistant Jose) vs. Warhorse

Andrade on Dark? That’s far from typical for AEW. Warhorse brought a singles record of 0-1. You may remember Warhorse had a singles match with Cody Rhodes when he was the TNT champion. Jose distracted Warhorse by using a lint roller to clean his suit. I know that sounds absurd if you didn’t see it but that’s what happened folks. Andrade put Warhorse on the ropes, chopped hiu in the chest, Warhorse gave him a headbutt and came off the ropes but Andrade easily countered and then hit El Idolo for the quick squash. I’m happy to see Andrade here but this was a nothing match.

Alan “V” Angels & Preston “10” Vance vs. Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook)

Starks and Vance started the match off and Vance dominated him with his size and his series of ten punches in the corner. Vance hit a fall away slam and Angels tagged in for an assisted ‘rana. Since Vance did ten punches in the corner, Angels did five. Ha ha. Hobbs finally got a tag and Angels quickly went to work on his legs, or as Taz said he was trying to chop a redwood down to size. Angels tried to boot him in the head a few times but Hobbs hit a clothesline and wiped him out, did a delayed vertical suplex, and tagged Starks back in. Starks gave him a cheap shot to the ribs while Hobbs held on, and the ref did nothing about it. (Danhausen! Get on that!) Hobbs and Starks kept working Angels over until Vance got the hot tag, and it was pump kicks for everyone after that. Vance gave Hobbs a power bomb and flexed. He went for the full nelson but Starks broke it up and again the ref did nothing about it. Hobbs did a spinebuster of his own and Angels broke it up. Starks took Angels out with a spear. Vance rocked Starks with an elbow to the head. Vance tagged Angels and Hobbs gave him a big slam so Starks could easily pin him. For what they wanted to accomplish this match would have been better at half the length.

Miranda Gordy vs. Tay Conti (w/ Anna Jay)

Conti came in 29-4 for this match. Gordy was waiting for her in the ring to make her debut, and if you didn’t already know she was the daughter of Terry Gordy, they introduced her as “hailing from Badstreet USA.” Unfortunately you already know what was going to happen here — but I’ll tell you anyway — Conti hit the D-D-Tay and pinned her in under a minute. It’s a shame when you bring in the daughter of a legend just to extend Conti’s winning streak. At least you can bet she’ll be back for another bout.

Wardlow (w/ Shawn Spears) vs. Ryan Mantell

Wardlow brought a singles record of 18-3. Just like the last match Mantell was waiting for his opponent in the ring, although he had prior AEW experience and a record of 0-3 to match it. Wardlow quickly overpowered him and hung him on the ropes for the Casualty of War. I didn’t have a stopwatch but I think this was even faster than Conti’s match. Spears delivered a C4 with an apple in his mouth for good measure. Excalibur: “Typically the apple is in the pig’s mouth, but I digress.”

Darby Allin vs. QT Marshall

Marshall came out with a singles record of 23-8 and a chip on his shoulder, telling Justin Roberts to “shut his mouth.” He declared that he had a message for Sting. “You guys like Sting huh? While I’m on Dynamite trying to congratulate Darby Allin on his win Sting kicked me in the nuts. You like that? Well Sting has a best friend and so do I, his name is Maxwell Jacob Friedman. He told me ‘QT why don’t you go to St. Louis, as much as it sucks, and why don’t you soften up Darby Allin for me?’ I’m not just going to soften him up. I’m going to make sure he doesn’t make it to Full Gear.”

Allin came out with a singles record of 27-3. Marshall kept the heat he generated with his entrance by dominating early, getting the crowd to chant for Allin to fire him up. Marshall did a diving headbutt and got a near fall. Allin finally knocked Marshall out of the ring with a drop kick and followed up with a suicide dive. Code Red nearly got the pin. Allin went top rope for a Coffin Drop and connected. One, two, three. So much for taking Allin out before Full Gear!

Hardy Family Office vs. Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy & Christian Cage

At the 100 minute mark it was finally time for our main event. The Hardy Family Office was represented by Matt Hardy, Isaiah Kassidy and The Blade. Has anybody mentioned lately that Christian Cage’s AEW music is a dead ringer for his “Just Close Your Eyes” WWE music? Speaking of music, the whole crowd sang for Jungle Boy as he and Luchasaurus made their way to the ring. The babyfaces here will face the Super Kliq on Saturday at Full Gear.

Christian got his knees up when Kassidy was trying to imitate Matt Hardy, then crawled for Luchasaurus to make the hot tag. The prehistoric dinosaur ran over all three of his opponents and goozled Kassidy and Blade simultaneously, but Hardy hit the “yam bag” as Taz would say to break it up. Hardy’s Twist of Fate was blocked and he ate a Tail Whip, and Luchasaurus got the double choke slam he wanted earlier. Blade kicked out of the pin though. Jungle Boy tagged in and Blade gave them both a boot before hitting Jungle Boy with a snap suplex into the corner. Hardy ran in for a Twist of Fate but Christian ran in for a Killswitch, Kassidy hit Christian with a stunner, Jungle Boy hit a lariat, and Blade got rolled up for a near fall. Jungle Boy put him in the Snare Trap and Blade tapped to end the show. The crowd sang for Jungle Boy as we went off the air!

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Taylor Swift. Given the length of this show, nearly as long as a typical episode of Dynamite, there are plenty of candidates to skip this time. With all due respect to the winners of these squash matches you can skip Tay Conti, Wardlow, Andrade, Nyla Rose, and (sadly) Riho. Go out of your way to watch the women’s trio match (Hayter’s great so I’m not gonna hate), Martin vs. Kazarian, Sydal & Moriarty vs. 2point0, the opener and the main event. Enjoy Dynamite, Rampage and Full Gear this week. Just like Dark tonight it’s a packed week of AEW action.

Cageside commentary crew! Leave your feedback in the brand new comments section below (you may need to verify your email address first). I’m also on Twitter if you want to hit me up. See you next Monday night for Elevation!